Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I learned what stfu* means the other day from Willow Palin. Seems that she uses it frequently when chatting on Facebook. Oh...kids these days, so cute. But I was reminded that maybe I shouldn't bitch so much about the weather. I try so hard to get through the summers here, you would think that the winters would be a piece of cake. At least I don't live in Palinville, Alaska. Seems like whining that my poor feet got cold, vowing to stay indoors, tempted the fates in some way. I woke up snuggled in flannel sheets to a freezing cold house. Broken heater. No complaining anymore, Lisa. Zip it. Put on some socks and STFU.

*shut the f--- up

Monday, November 29, 2010

Peace (and quiet), Man

"I'm glad to have you all to myself again," said poor Shawn. There's only so much of me to go around (and I didn't even tell him about the upcoming Tuesday night full house mah jongg and Wednesday night circle the wagons Lipstick Call and Thursday night quit dropping out of stuff writing workshop). After a week of take-over-the-house, Amy (in a post-Landmark happy days are here again) visit, a week of Shana The Great and all of her friends, out to all hours, never knowing who is spending the night, even had a boy, no, Mom, he's not my boyfriend (but I'm pretty sure he is), here last night after a midnight arrival at Sky Harbor, family dinner, family lunch, family dinner, family lunch, followed by a three hour rip apart the rock star motor home yesterday in order to get the Dish Network TV working in the snowbird RV park so QVC doesn't send out the National Guard to find out why Nana stopped shopping, followed by a last night at home and we're not complaining Sunday night Pita Jungle take-out double feature and a morning Shana send-off breakfast at Chompies before work, work, work until we were down to two again and it was finally quiet. So Shawn, deep breath, smiling at dinner, "I'm glad to have you all to myself again."

Me too :)

Dan, Dude, Where's My Cup?

It's not like I'm asking for my own parking space or anything. My face on the big screen. A foot massage. All I want are two cups and a t-shirt. Today at Movie Madness the nice guy asked me if I wanted to buy my new 2011 souvenir cup yet. I told him nope. I'm holding out for the big guy, Dan the Man. I love Harkins. I love movies. There is a direct positive correlation between my happiness and the number of movies I see. It's like therapy. For cheap. I get two hours in the dark with my buddies, escape whatever is happening in my brain, a little respite from reality. Heard of the new "entertainment corridor" just down the street from my house in McCormick Ranch? Along with the new Diamondbacks spring training stadium and a new resort/casino, they are re-doing The Pavilions mall, complete with a new hoity-toity theater. But it's not Harkins and I would never cheat on Dan. I love his places the best. Camelview is right by the office so I can sneak out during lunch and sometimes people never notice. Then there's Shea 14. So convenient. No Indian reservation involved. Pita Jungle. Coffee Plantation. Blue Burrito, so many meet 'ya before the show options. All I want is a couple of cups. Maybe a t-shirt. Please.


I'm a total desert rat and do not do well when it's under 50. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I hate socks and once my feet, even inside (fake) fur lined clogs, get cold, there's no turning back. I have warm clothes, but always just look out the window and see bright sunshine and figure that no matter how cold it really is, it will warm up soon. That didn't happen today. I got cold, stayed cold and didn't thaw out until submersion in a hot, hot, hot, drained the hot water heater hot bath, pruny fingers and toes.

I'm not going outside until June.

Movie Madness - Fair Game/Love & Other Drugs

My Dad always says, "Life isn't fair." I wanted to wait to see Fair Game until at least 11/2012. That and Cool It and Inside Job and a bunch of other films I just can't bare to watch until Obama wins re-election and proves my Dad wrong, if only for a day. I want life to be fair. I want people to vote for honorable, educated people that play by the rules. People that don't steal elections, people that don't go to war, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents for some secret or made-up reason, people that don't give away all of our loot to massive corporations that write our laws, stepping all over the little guy, people that don't shove lie after lie down our throats until we start to actually believe the bright, white veneered smile in front of the camera.

Extra credit Thanksgiving Day showing. We put the turkey away, finished off the wine and went to see Love & Other Drugs. Big reminder of the go-go 90's era of pharmaceutical craziness (wait, they've still got those unbelievable profits, why hasn't that part changed, too?) and the so adorable Jake and Anne. Fun turkey day romp, but the rest of you could wait for the DVD.

Friday, November 26, 2010

All My Children

"Cheers to all my children," said Padre at the festive La Hacienda at the always beautiful Princess. The fire was crackling, the holiday lights were twinkling, Wilbur the pig was roasting and life was good as we all circled the table, not wanting to miss anything, including a sleep-running dog, on a we're thankful to be here holiday dinner night in the desert.

Zoo Friday

Who are these people? We had to stalk some shoppers in the parking garage to get a space, almost running down a few on the way in to the "I had my blinker on first, -------" spot. The sales were good, Shana scored, we ate our salads by the fountain since a regular chair was out of the question, most people were sitting on the ground, tired from all the turkey, tired from the pushing and shoving, the line-waiting, the I can't believe I'm here, the whatever money I'm saving isn't worth it until the I could be home reading a book rational part of the brain took over and we headed home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble

Talk about thankful. My Thanksgiving week started out in a 98 degree pool on Monday morning at Miraval, out in the desert at the base of the incredible Catalina Mountains, steam rising up out of the pool, palm trees reflecting in the water, rushing wind blowing the chimes, beautiful music playing as I did my first Tai Chi in the water class. We all closed our eyes and were led through a series of simple, slow moves as Zen Daddy, Randy, talked about Thanksgiving and God and life's blowouts and how we are all really miracles, blah, blah, blah, but truly an incredibly peaceful, thought-provoking experience, making me even more thankful this year. Not that I'm ever much of a whiner, usually more of a glass is half full, happy to be here kind of attitude, but today I'm thankful for my family and friends and my health and for living in the beautiful desert and for the chance to get out there and see the rest of the world. I think about others less fortunate than me as well as the selfishness and injustices in the world every single day, which seems to make me more appreciative. I'm thankful for chopping vegetables with Mr. Fancy Pants who just spent 24 hours infusing some special sage, white balsamic vinaigrette for an incredible roasted root vegetable dish, featuring beets and rutabaga and seedless squash and who knows what else and for my great friends the Mortons that surrounded the stuffed table with my family, laughing and bonding and Table Talk Gaming until one more turkey day came to a close, full of abundance.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Funny, funny Dane Cook

Totally obnoxious, but so hilarious Dane Cook had us cracking up with his riffs on relationships and other funny stuff.

My own funny story about Placenta Encapsulation, or maybe Web Site Design, later...


Bangs aren't working. Switchin' to Botox...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

AmYable vs. HOHI

In 8th grade English class we learned the word amiable: adj. having or showing pleasant, good-natured personal qualities; agreeable; willing to accept the wishes, decisions of another or others; affable: an amiable disposition.  All of my junior high school peeps that knew my sister Amy turned to me and started cracking up. She is the most unamiable person I know.  She has lots of qualities, but pleasant, nice and agreeable she is not (just call her one of those words, stand back and see what happens). Recently I read a more accurate description of Amy (in our latest book club read, The Stuff That Never Happened) "hands on hips imperviousness." If I was reading that out loud in my eighth grade class, I'm sure that everybody would nod in agreement - now that's Amy! Hands On Hips Impervious - HOHI.

Which one are you?

Monday, November 22, 2010

11-22-66 = 44

Not wanting to miss one second of her 44th birthday, Amy woke me up at 6:50am from out of my cushy, comfy unbelievably soft and warm great Arizona resident rate Miraval feather bed. We slid into the 7am Morning Stretch class, followed by the 8am Fitness Walk, leaving a bit early for breakfast, then off to a 9am Spinning for her, Tai Chi in the water for me (OMG, more later on that), then a 10:00 90 minute Yoga (right next to my new BFF "Heather from LA"
- who was also in our Drumming class last night), then an 11:30 Cooking Class, followed by a Lunch With The Therapist at noon. We took a breather to pack then ran to 1pm Water Aerobics (Amy), read by the pool (me, yes, there's a definite burn less calories on my end pattern here), veg out at the spa for awhile then an end of the day 3:30 Loss and Letting Go Class (new lesson from an old Lily Tomlin quote "Letting Go is finally giving up hope that you had a better past"). Checked out of Miraval, raced to Mexican restaurant with Shana for a bday din din,
then yelled and screamed for the team as they won one for us before hopping back on the highway from what seemed like a two week long trip back to Scottsdale. Happy Birthday, HOHI. Cheers to the greatest sister in the world!

Sweaty Asses Win!!

Shana and the Sweaty Asses Softball team kicked some sweaty butt tonight! Shana got on base with every hit, made it home a couple of times and the rest of the team pulled it all together for a real nail-biter, end of the season blowout. Can't wait for next year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quantum Leap

Amy, who's like a size two, stomped down the hall like an elephant, searching for me in the early morning, letting me know it's time to go, time to hit the road, head to Tucson, get to Miraval in time for a 10:30 Quantum Leap. Let's skip sleeping in, Sunday brunch, reading the paper all day and white-knuckle it in the car for an hour and a half, calling for reservations on the way, begging to get on the challenge course waiting list in order to climb up a thirty foot telephone pole, squeeze two of us on a tiny platform and then jump off just for the hell of it. Since it's so hard to say no to Ms. HOHI, we slid into T-town just in time, met our leaping group and walked through the gorgeous desert, tipped our heads back way high and took in the pole that was calling our names. Our group consisted of three folks from Paris (a married couple and their friend, Jose - born in Spain, but spoke perfect French) and one other married couple. We tied each other up, learned how to belay the rope, were told not to sit on the platform once we got up and then headed up. Once I got to the top, I realized that looking down was not an option. I stared off at eye level, taking in the Catalina Mountains, knowing that one glance down could mean the end. As I waited for Amy, no longer stomping, but taking it one slow step on the rung at a time, reaching between my ankles, somehow maneuvering herself up on to the two foot by less than one foot rectangular platform. We did it. We stood there. We breathed the keep deep breathing Miraval breath. We jumped down. Our group turned from strangers into a high-fiving, fist-bumping, kiss-kissing (one on each cheek since we were all so Frenchie Frenchie by then) love fest. It was a heart-racing, self-esteem pumping, worth getting out of bed for quantum leap.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sister, Sister

Amy's home! How about some snuggling with Lotus time, some Mexican food, some Old Town Scottsdale honky tonk bar scene and a trip to Tucson for one softball game, featuring Shana, stopping by Miraval for a two day, one night birthday treat? Sound good?


I wondered about life today as a wonderful woman, Ann Yaeger, was laid to rest. My friend Liz's mother was one of those people that everybody wanted to be around. There was a lot of talk about how she was really more like a friend or a sibling to others rather than a mother or a teacher. She always had a smile on her face and somehow always turned the conversation away from her, back to you, wanting to know more and more about everybody in her life. It was joyous to hear all of the stories about how this Arizona native grew up, made life-long friends, cruised Central Ave as a teen, using the old Bob's Big Boy on Thomas as a base, meeting her husband-to-be, Tom, on one of those nights. We heard about the Phoenix College days (nicknamed F.K.), then ASU, the sorority times, the amazing Liz and Isabel, all the trips to San Diego and Mexico. I'll remember all the birthday parties, the baby showers, the scariest house on the street at Halloween house, the Christmas Eve tamales and the handwritten Christmas card we received every year. Ann had a tradition of putting confetti in greeting cards, spreading her joy of life and cheer all around. Today, at the tearful memorial at All Saint's and then at the celebration back in her beautiful back yard with yellow tablecloths and flowers and pictures of Ann all around, surrounded by friends old and young, plus so many of mine that I haven't see enough of lately, the celebration continued and it seemed that she was there, as well. As we left, I took a beautifully wrapped present full of confetti from the basket, holding mine tight.


What is desserts spelled backwards?

STRESSED. Just a little Saturday morning Weight Watchers helpful hint to get through turkey day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lipstick Call (aka Payback Time)

Way, way before Shawn, I had a crush on a guy. He had Barry Gibbs from the Bee Gees hair and was the older brother of one of my sister's friends. Whenever she would visit, I got all excited. I would prepare well in advance. I would select just the right outfit. I would invite one of my own friends over to help me "wash the car" in the off chance that he was with his mom when she came to pick up his sister. Decked out in what a twelve year old would think was cute, cut-off shorts and spaghetti strap tank tops, we would suds up for what seemed like hours, scrubbing my mom's landshark Lincoln over and over again as I hoped for just a quick glance at the drive-by, maybe he would even get out of the car and talk to me. It never happened. All that wasted water. All those pissed off friends,  eventually figuring out they'd been used. But tonight was payback time. I was the car washing friend along for the ride. Trying to duck out of a Match.com guy coming to the door moment, the lovely Louise opted for a meet me at a lipstick call scenario instead. I brought fellow expert car washer Shawn (he has great hair, too). We had some wine, sudsing up over and over again until date guy showed up, funny one we had actually met awhile ago. Just like old times laughing about biker shorts, Shawn's Banana Boat parked outside, the passion package, movie or dinner or movie or dinner with the hilarious ambulance chaser attorney until the car was washed, the girl in the fishnets was happy and the props at the bar headed home, happy to have helped.


I'd like to start a tradition. Last year Harkins Theater gave me a bunch of stuff since I'm such a loyal movie goer. I got a cup, a t-shirt, a special edition bag that I take to the grocery store every time in order to save the planet, a couple of DVDs and even a cool Red Vines water cup. I was most appreciative. This morning I heard on the radio (KEZ 99.9, by the way, they just started playing Christmas music 24/7 - love it!) that the 2011 Souvenir Cup is now available. Woo Hoo! The Harkins Theater 2011 Souvenir Cup is now available! Boy, I would really like to have one of those (maybe two). I show up every Monday morning, hauling friends along (which can make a girl very thirsty), filling up several seats (with a youngish, hip crowd, not a permed, grey hair in the bunch), then sometimes even go back on the weekends with the hubby in tow (who just loves popcorn; personally, it gives me a headache, but, wow, a 2011 t-shirt would come in handy). I'm good on all the other loot (wouldn't want to seem greedy, after all), but a couple of cups and a t-shirt would make me so happy, make me keep sending out weekly emails to hoards of people encouraging them to come join me on a Monday morning (hey, we even had a special edition Movie Madness last Saturday since we had to share Tamara Drewe with people we knew just couldn't miss it). So, Dan Harkins at Harkins Theater, you're the best. You have the greatest theaters in town and I can't wait to see more movies!

Don't be a turkey - give, give, give

Times are hard, but if you have a little extra, please consider helping this amazing local organization. Just $25 buys a family of six Thanksgiving dinner.

The Real Gift

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crazy Like A Fox

I decided to take a news break. Just go about life for the foreseeable future unplugged from all that. Relax. Breathe. The other day I was with one of my friends, non-political, totally non-newsy (except for maybe keeping up with the Kardashians). She seemed to peaceful. So calm. Had no clue who John Boehner is. Paradise, right? But I just couldn't stay away today and clicked away from work to check on the Washington happenings. The first thing I saw, after months of campaigning, hours and hours of TV commercials, bags and bags and bags of tea partying was the House GOP ordering to defund NPR. This was the very first thing they asked for? This was their priority? Save the world! End Socialism! This was what all the screaming was about? The number one thing? NPR? Cute little honest NPR? What are they afraid of?

I guess the truth hurts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book Club - The Stuff That Never Happened

Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Author of this month's book, Maddie Dawson, CALLED THE BOOK CLUB! That's right, she actually found my little 'ol blog somehow and called us right on the 7 o'clock dot from somewhere in Connecticut! She asked me if we were drinking wine yet and when I said "of course" she went off to grab a glass of her own. She told us all about how she writes, what her inspiration was, asked us what we thought about Grant and Annabelle and Jeremiah and wondered what we would do in their situations. It was amazing. Most of us had even read the book (even paying retail for the hard to find hardback book - so against my library-loving tendencies - full disclosure confession to come later) and we actually discussed it, at a book club meeting, imagine that. It was incredible to watch the characters come alive right there at Louise's sparkling table. I was so excited, I forgot all of the usual pithy remarks that we crazies create (all I've got so far: move the muffins, the "how is your day with your grandma going" question asked to kids of "Blanche," the we got your back, sistah for whatever you need on Sunday at 10, truck included, surrounded by our very own so tall Annabelle, petite ya ya, taking in every dirty word, the I can whip together an asparagus lasagna and full spread in under two hours and I'll remember more later when the amazement wears off). But I think we've found the solution. Apply pressure. Read the book. Call the author. Maddie loves Anne Lamott and Lorrie Moore, two of my faves, too, so I'll start crossing my fingers and waiting for my phone to ring!

More from Maddie: What if you ran in to an old flame on a train and had the chance to catch up, to reminisce, to look in his eyes and wonder if he was the one that got away, the one you've been thinking about all these years, the perfect guy? What if all of those perfect guy's annoying traits that you forgot all about started to appear again on the train ride, making you think that life back home with Mr. Straight and Narrow, Mr. Steadfast wasn't so bad. What would you do? Well, according to fabulous author,  you would spruce him up and write a book, inviting all of the characters to live in your brain for awhile, rummage around in there until they said their piece and then set them free (I think there's a part two in there somewhere with different run-off-with-Jeremiah ending - she said I could write that one!). We have a lot more questions for her and I hope we don't have to wait for her next book to speak with her again, like about all these characters I've been thinking about that keep screaming to get out: Lucy, Chloe, Blanche, Mary, Jennifer, Vanessa, Renee, Racquel, Josephine, Diomira, Thelma, Weez, Christina, Joop (some unisex name from the Netherlands, hmmm...wonder who that is?), Daisy and Tess.

Write on - The Stuff That Did Happen!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lost and Found

Shawn's in love. When I met him, he was about as far away from being a cat lover as one could be. Together we've had about six and he learned to tolerate most of them, had affection for a couple, but then Cali came along and everything changed. Shana found her out in the desert when she was just a week or so old. I told her not to bring her home. Told her to let one of her co-conspirators take her, maybe they could beg one of their moms for a change. After a dozen or so calls that night, I caved. OK, just for one night, but that's it. I mean it. It's been three years since then and tonight we got home to a Cali-less house for the first time, back door wide open and guilty looking dog inside. After three hours of searching, here kitty, kitty-ing, driving, flashlighting, posting a sign and almost giving up, Shawn spotted her. He went one way, I went the other and headed into the backyard. She was standing on her hind legs, pawing at the now closed back door, begging to get in. The little shit knew all along how to get home. She could have been coyote food. She could have been trampled by the hundreds of bunnies in the neighborhood. Lotus sort of glared at her when she came back in and scarfed down more food than I've ever seen her eat. Shawn gave her a bath and she looked like a wet rat as she ran off to hide and dry off, hopefully happy that she's home.

I know Shawn is.

Hey Soul Sister

Yoga Lesson of the week:

After unraveling brain and body for days into a tight, cranky mess, a little math to put it all back together again.

Newness + Bliss + Equanimity = A Balanced Soul

Monday, November 15, 2010

Non-Book Club reads

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard,
Up From The Blue by Susan Henderson,
and halfway through the new all the rage book, Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese.
Hit the books!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Shana thinks I'm a nag. I stupidly looked at our phone bill the other day and noticed that she texts thousands of text messages a month. I wondered (aloud) how many other things she could be accomplishing without so much time wasting. I got the "What else do you want from me?" question. I get straight As. Yep. I work hard. Yep. I have a job. Yep. Nice friends, no drugs, good driver, all around perfect kid. Yep. Yep. Yep. Her only compliant lately is that all of her friends are turning 21, while she's stuck at baby 19. She wants to go faster and I want her to slow down. It reminds me how little time I've had. Other parents get years and years more of this. With even two kids, you get at least a 21 year spread of diapers to college years. I only got 17 before she left home. After doing some math in the car, we realized that she was even a week late being born, cutting in even more into my mommy time. As she turned a Veteran's holiday day off into a four day weekend, we shopped for her upcoming semester in Spain, loading up on boots, scarves and mittens for when she heads off in a few weeks to a faraway place, living with another Mom, one that doesn't care how many texts she sends and I realized I shouldn't either.

As long as some r 2 me :).

Savion: Bare Soundz

The guy can dance. Savion Glover brought down the house tonight at the Mesa Arts Center, stunning us all into some kind of amazement trance with his moves. The first time I saw him was in Bring in 'da Noise/Bring in 'da Funk a long time ago. I also remember him from Sesame Street back when Shana was a fan. But tonight, something else was going on. He was on fire. The whole crowd went from either smiling to having their jaws hanging wide open out of the pure unfeasibility of it all. He made it look so simple. A guy, two friends and some tap shoes, funny, inspiring, exhausting, adorable, so incredible.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Movie Madness - Tamara Drewe

Had to drag home-for-the-weekend-Shana to the Extra Credit Saturday Movie Madness with an even bigger Movie Madness crowd than Monday. We cleared out the row in front of us with all of our shenanigans and I'm told our laughter could be heard from way back.

Don't be a wanker and miss this film - hilarious characters, a bunch of writers, love affairs, I hope she doesn't get thrush, a little drummer boy, a herd of cows and a 15 year old that steals the show.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pandora Festival

With my best girl, Shana and I started out in the sea with some sushi at Stingray, then strolled through the Greek Festival, another beginning of sorts, on the Civic Center Mall, then flew through the Paolo Soleri-themed exhibit at the Young at Art gallery, then took in all the great Pandora short plays. "Pandora rises from the earth; she is the Earth, giver of all gifts." That is the Pandora we celebrate. And now, let's open the box!

So check it out. One more weekend. Pandora Festival, AZ Women's Theatre, one act and/or 10 minutes plays all written by female playwrights, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Zippity Do Da

Met the old Arcadia gang at Zipps for a fun second Happy Hour of the night. Caught up on the jobs, the cabins, the LogMahals, the stuffed African safari finds, the new deck (how big is your deck?), the will, the turkey, the tiled fireplace, the relationships, the parents,  the ACC golf "spin the bottle" course, the old, just unearthed, yearbook and the long lost sophomore tennis team photo with the feathered Farrah Fawcett hair.
Go Titans!

Jilly-B Bahama Bday

A little sunset trip to the Bahamas in celebration of Queen Bee, Jilly-B. We circled the table in new clothes and jewels, escaping the families on a weeknight, for a fawning focus fest on Jill who was in the mood for something juicy, nobody deserves it more, the sweetest plunger in the world.

Get Local

From one local to the rest of the bunch. Sixth annual certified local fall festival at the oh so yummy Duck & Decanter.

Saturday from 10 - 4.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Call of Duty

Shawn has a pair of camouflage pajama pants, but I don't let him out of the house in them. They were sort of a joke, a little present from Santa a couple years ago to make fun of his XBox addiction. But today, the joke was on me. Since I "forced" the guy to actually go to work on the day the new game came out, I needed to be the one there at Best Buy the moment it went on sale. We wouldn't want anybody to sell out. I could have driven to one up north yesterday at midnight, but the call of wifely duty wasn't that loud. By the way, the town is still overloaded and Costco has tons of them for about $10 cheaper. So this morning I found myself in Baghdad, surrounded by a bunch of guys in camo gear waiting for the store to open. No pajama pants, thank God, just shirts, hats and lots of growling as they made it through the lines, past the cash registers and back out into the desert.

Straight Up

Maybe you've heard this one before - sit up straight. After hunching over a computer in a really bad chair all day, it was great to just lie down in the dark with my yoga peeps. Mary told us to lengthen our spines without really moving. Just sort of do it by thinking about. Maybe it's her way of yelling, "Sit Up Straight" so we'll remember when we're not with her. But try it. Try to add a little more space in between each vertebrae, head back, shoulders back. Maybe we should have listened to our mothers when we were young and this would be easier these days.  By the end of class, after wrapping ourselves around chairs in a whole other way, the advice was different. Go into the dark. The deep. A place where everything is mysterious and silent.

For an hour a week, beats the heck out of the real world.

Upcoming Movie Madness - Cool It

Drive your big car full of cheap gas away from your big house full of crap you don't need and come see this documentary about what we can do to help save the world.

Monday, November 15th at 10:50 at Camelview

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Laurel - A Year In The Life!

Here is a little (late) birthday present :)
Whoa, SLOW down, baby!! Darling Diva, Laurel, must have thought that entering a fast speed limit year meant cruising at a breakneck pace though life, throwing in fun, family, friends and fabulous festivities that would make the rest of us gasp for air (and therapy)! Starting with last year's big day, a fancy Champagne brunch with the ladies,
then some fun with Santa
before heading to the new Casa Spence for a Holiday Book Club that Her Highness almost single-handedly knocked down and rebuilt into a stunning decorator's dream.
Successfully through the farm-filled family holidays, it was back to playing with the girls for awhile until...
beautiful Sophie goes off and gets engaged! Throw in a daisy-filled luncheon, 

a college graduation and a spectacular trip to Europe (complete with three tag-a-long tulips),
Laurel was still smiling, holding it all together, halfway through a remarkable year. 
As the big wedding day came near, it was hard to slow down as every detail was planned to perfection.
After waving good-bye to the newlyweds, the Farm Frau herself came along for Pinetop Slumber Party Part Two, gathering with the ladies for some old-fashioned girl time. Vroom, vroom.

After kidnapping her handsome prince for a romantic French honeymoon of their own, she got home just in time to close the birthday year circle back in her home with a bunch of crazy pirates that are just crazy for her. Especially me! There have been more book clubs, more Lipstick Calls, more movies and couldn't have made it without, lots and lots of heart-to-hearts.
Happy Birthday, Sistah. You are a true blue friend. AARRrrrruuuggghhh!